Two petrol engines are available: a 1.0-litre three-cylinder and a 1.2-litre four-cylinder. The 1.0 is adequate if you mainly drive around town and it's easy to drive smoothly, thanks to a progressive throttle response, but it does feel out of its depth on motorways and even fast A-roads.
The livelier 1.2 is happy on any road, and doesn’t need to be worked so hard to make reasonable progress, so it's a bit more relaxing in general. You have to opt for the 1.2 if you want an automatic gearbox because the 1.0 is manual-only.
The i10's suspension is forgiving enough to cope with all but the sharpest of potholes. In fact, around town, the ride is actually very settled – by city car standards, at least.
However, there is quite a lot of bounce over high-speed undulations, which can be a bit unnerving along bucking country roads. The rivals VW Up (and it's Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii siblings) feel altogether better tied down and less floaty.
Hyundai i10 handling
The i10 isn't as fun to drive as some city cars, including the VW Up and Skoda Citigo, and that's largely down to the steering. It's rather vague and overly keen to self-centre, which doesn't inspire much confidence on faster, twisting roads. However, it’s light enough to make parking easy, and there’s ultimately plenty of grip when you want to get a bit more of a move on.
Unlike some rivals, the i10 also feels stable at high speeds; it isn't affected too badly by crosswinds on the motorway.
Hyundai i10 refinement
The 1.0-litre engine is exceptionally hushed for a three-cylinder. In fact, it’s actually quieter than the four-cylinder 1.2 much of the time. By city car standards, the i10 is also brilliant at shutting out wind and road noise.
The only slight disappointment is that the five-speed manual gearbox isn’t quite as slick as the one used in both the Skoda Citigo and VW Up. The optional four-speed automatic changes gear quite slowly, so you’re well aware of the pause in momentum if you’re accelerating hard, but in laid-back use it’s smooth enough. In fact, it’s the best automatic in this class.
The entry-level engine in the i10 range is smooth and makes the i10 easy to drive smoothly around town. It's also one of the quietest three-cylinder engines around, although with just 59bhp it does feel out of its depth outside the city limits.
Our pick 1.2
Our favourite engine, because it makes the i10 more than just a city car with enough oomph for fast A-roads and motorways. It loves to be revved, which means it's even quite good fun by city car standards. Averaged nearly 50mpg in our True MPG test.